Aaron Ramsey indirectly responds to Gary Neville criticism

Aaron Ramsey

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey says that the Gunners may have less physicality than Manchester City and Chelsea, but they are stronger in other ways.

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey appears to have indirectly constructed an argument against Gary Neville’s criticism of the side on Monday night.

Neville has already commented that he is unsure how the Gunners could win the Premier League this season because they do not have the physicality to compete with Manchester City or Chelsea.

Speaking on the first Monday Night Football of the season, following Jose Mourinho’s side 3-1 win against Burnley, the Sky Sports pundit said: “I’m not writing Arsenal and Liverpool off on the first day of the season, but I’m not sure how they can win it.

“You look at champions and they have to fight when they have to fight. Chelsea have got a back four that’s massive and they’ve got Nemanja Matic and Diego Costa. Man City are the only side that can match them for size and power.

“Of those two, definitely one of them is going to win the league, I think. In power, size and physicality I don’t see how the other teams can match them."

But the Welsh midfielder, who opened his goalscoring account for the season against Crystal Palace in his side’s Premier League opener, refutes these claims and doesn’t feel that Arsenal’s lack of size will be of a problem for them.

Indeed, he says that it could work to their advantage as they can be more evasive than their more physically imposing rivals.

"Manchester City are a big team and Chelsea are a big team," he said. "It's all about opinions. We're quite a small team by comparison and we like to get the ball down.

"Maybe they won't be as agile and we can play around them. It helps those teams with power and drive but I'm sure we'll be playing the other way."

If he is to be correct with his prediction that Arsenal can keep up with City and Chelsea, then the Gunners will need to pick up their performances in the near future.

While Chelsea demolished Burnley in their first Premier League fixture and City won by a two-goal margin against Newcastle United, Arsenal have struggled in their early campaign.

The Gunners are still unbeaten, but they haven’t managed to get into full flow just yet. Wenger’s side edged past Crystal Palace, with Ramsey scoring a late winner in a 2-1 win, before drawing 0-0 with Besiktas in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

They have already shown that they can be a match for the best this season, though. The Gunners destroyed Manuel Pellegrini’s men in the Community Shield – carving them open time after time in a 3-0 victory.

It was a perfect example of Ramsey’s statement that the pace and tempo that Arsenal can use to their advantage would be hard to deal with.

City looked off the pace, as Arsenal’s movement mesmerised their defence and saw last season's champions struggling to contain them on numerous occasions.

It is this level of performance that Ramsey’s team will need to emulate if they are to achieve their aims of mounting a Premier League title challenge and proving Neville wrong this season.

The Gunners take on Everton tomorrow and they will be looking to make a statement against one of the season's top-four hopefuls.

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